By the end of this month, both the Australia and US governments are enforcing new limits on how much powder product you can pack in carry-on baggage on international flights.
They will also be tougher screening at airport security to make sure nothing slips through the net.
Australia's new rules on hand luggage come in on June 30 and the TSA's new rules come into effect in the US this week.
Similar to the quantity restrictions on liquids, aerosols and gels in carry-on luggage that came about after the September 11 attacks, according to CNN the new rules were prompted by a thwarted bomb plot on an Etihad flight from Sydney in July last year.
The plotters allegedly planned to bring an improvised device on board, but their plan was thwarted when they couldn’t get the device past the airline’s check-in desk.
Sydney men Khaled Mahmoud Khayat, 49, of Lakemba, and Mahmoud Khayat, 32, of Punchbowl, have been charged with two counts of preparing and planning a terrorist act. One other man remains in custody.
TSA spokesman Michael England told Bloomberg: “Improvised devices containing powder explosives have always been a concern of TSA’s.”
What does this mean for travellers?
If you travel with powders — including loose and pressed powders — in your carry-on baggage, you should expect changes to the way you are screened at airport security from June 30.
As with liquids, aerosols and gels, powders will need to be presented separately.
In terms of what’s restricted, the Australian Government is distinguishing between organic powders, such as baby formula, coffee, protein powder and spices, and inorganic powders, such as talcum powders, foot powders, powdered detergent, some cosmetics and cleaning products.
Organic powders are fine but restrictions apply to inorganic powders.
That means travelling parents don’t have to worry about a limit on the amount of baby formula they can bring on a plane, as baby formula is considered organic. The same goes for protein powder and flour, sugar, coffee and spices.
If the powder is inorganic, you won’t be able to fly with more than 350g in total (or 350mL) – about the same size as a can of coke.
There’s no limit to the number of containers you can pack but the total amount can’t exceed 350g.
While powders will have to be presented separately at airport security, unlike liquids, you won’t have to put them in a separate, resealable plastic bag.
In Australia, sand is also considered a restricted powder here, so be aware that some toys and souvenirs may contain sand or another substance considered to be a powder.
In America, US security officials will screen any powders in containers bigger than 350ml.
Passengers carrying larger amounts of powders including food, ground coffee or cosmetics could have their bags opened and the powder subjected to a test for explosives.
American Airlines is telling international passengers who have more than a soda-can amount of powder to put it in checked baggage.
This story was originally published on News.com.au and has been reproduced with permission.
Sun Online Travel has contacted the Department on Transport to see if any plans to introduce similar rules in the UK are being discussed.
To find out which food you can take through airport security, click here.
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